sending signals

SLATER SIGNALS
The Newsletter of the USS SLATER's Volunteers
By Timothy C. Rizzuto, Ship's Superintendent

Destroyer Escort Historical Museum
USS Slater DE-766
PO Box 1926
Albany, NY 12201-1926

Phone (518) 431-1943, Fax 432-1123
Vol. 6 no. 1, January 2003

I was riding with Board Member Hal Hatfield to a meeting with Clough Harbour Engineering on the proposed mooring and ice deflection system for the SLATER. Hal, who is president of his Steel Fabrication firm, Maximum Security and also a West Point graduate, was espousing, as true Albanians do this time of year, about how he loved the four seasons. How winter gave him a really good feeling, as it constantly pitted him against the elements. With the right mental attitude, you get a real feeling of satisfaction from conquering these hostile elements. The two big storms in rapid succession, the three feet of snow, and the below zero temperatures have an invigorating, energizing effect on people. Hal's a good soldier. Meanwhile, I've got old friends from Baton Rouge e-mailing me pictures of themselves in shorts and shirtsleeves.

Moored as before in the winter wonderland.

The two big snowfalls really tested Hal's theory. The morning of the Christmas Day storm at 5am, I got a fire alarm call. I was out helping my building manager shovel. Barry Witte is number two on the alarm call list. When I got back to the apartment a few minutes later there was a message on the machine from Barry. He was telling me to wake up and that he was heading towards the ship. I called him on his cell phone and said I was heading out too. We'd have made better time if we had dog sleds, as the roads were in really rough shape. He beat me, and there was fortunately no problem, just blowback from the furnace. If there had been a fire, I don't know how the fire department could have responded. After the Christmas Day storm, Beth Spain, Paul Czesak and I spent thirty minutes digging out the gate at the entrance to the dock to get it open. That's still a hundred yards from the ship. Beth and Paul waded through the thigh deep snow to get the coffee on. I started to shovel a path. I was about halfway there when one of Gary Grimmel's guys with one of those front-end loaders with the seven-foot high tires saw my plight and came to the rescue. In about three minutes he had cut a wide roadway in and out of the dock and space for every one to park. All we had to do was shovel out the port a john and a path up the main deck. After the second snow it was Erik Collin and I who were first on the scene. Things began to repeat themselves. We were digging out the gate to try and get it open when a pickup truck with a plow drove by. The guys inside stopped and asked if we wanted him to plow it out for us. Always suspicious, I asked, "How much you want for it?" He replied, "Nothing, I just hate to see you guys killing yourselves." We let him go at it, and while he didn't have the impact of Gary's front-end loader, he did manage to get us a single lane down to the ship. I offered him twenty dollars, which he refused. It turns out that he, the truck and the plow belonged to a major corporation that must remain nameless. Years back we would have send his name to his corporate CEO with a thank you letter, and he would have gotten a nice write up in their corporate newsletter. Now in the age of liability, he has to worry about loosing his job for helping us. No good deed goes unpunished these days.

That same Saturday was a major event celebrated for the five us who showed up at the ship. It was Doug Tanner's sixtieth birthday party, complete with cake. Benner brought a cane for the old man, and he and Erik took up a collection to get Doug one of those fancy welding helmets with the auto darkening glass. Dick Walker provided the Coast Guard stickers for the helmet. Doug normally does all the cooking for us, but on this occasion lunch was brought in by Tim Benner, but prepared by Tim's wife.

Erik Collin presents Doug with his new welding helmet. The guests at Doug's party, Benner, Tanner, Murawski and Collin.

There may be something to what Hal Hatfield is saying. Last Saturday, the 17th of January; the lows in the area ranged from967 to9617. The high for Saturday was around 15. We had one of the biggest Saturdays we've had in months. Sixteen volunteers showed up to work on our cold steel ship. Their dedication never ceases to amaze me. We're halfway through the winter of our "overhaul" period. Each day the ship seems to get grimier and more torn up. But progress is being made. The machine shop is always crowded on cold days because the space has a huge, wonderful, 440-volt electric heater that can turn the small space into a sauna on the coldest days. Gary Sheedy was in there overhauling all the needle guns. Russ Ferrer was working on the furnace. Larry LaChance was machining studs for a valve for the fire and bilge pump in B-4. Further aft, in the unheated section of the ship, Paul Czesak was removing the doorframe from the ship's office for repairs. Up forward the messdecks were a buzz of activity. Barry Witte, Mike Ripley and George Doin were mounting a restored electrical box in the messdecks overhead as part of the project to wire the alarm system with armored cable. Doug Tanner was down in the fuel oil tanks ventilating and gas freeing them in preparation for the repairs to the reefer deck. Dennis Nagi was fabricating new wooden tops for the messdecks tables with drop leaves so they will be just like the originals. Further forward, Erik Collin and Stan Murowski were needle gunning messdeck table stanchions and compartment stanchions. Chuck Teal and Tim Benner were grinding and welding up the bunk lockers as the process of returning them to their original configuration continues. Forward of them, in the CPO mess, Claire Oesterreich, having delivered chocolate cake and brownies, was doing some house keeping in the wake of men who have been negligent in the area. In radio, Joe Breyer, Jerry Jones, Walt Stolte and Don Bulger continued working on the TAJ transmitter. In the ship's office Al Vanderzee and Steve Hurley were aboard, keeping our membership databases up to date.

Smitty, Beeler and Murawski digging out on Monday. Stan Murawski shoveling off the 01 level.

The weekday crew has been just as busy. Up forward, Chief Floyd and Andy Desorbo have been scaling and restoring the gun shack on the 01 level forward. In the process they are needle gunning the bulkhead on the opposite side of my cabin, so if you call on Monday, we may not be able to hear the phone. Aft, Rafael Suarez and Steve Hurley have been scaling out the sickbay where it isn't as warm. Tom Moore has been working on repairing the insulation in sickbay and after officer's country. Up forward, the rest of the chippers, Chris Fedden, Dick Smith, Ed Whitbeck, and guide turned chipper Dennis Morrissey have been scaling the overhead in A-205L the forward crews berthing space. Gene Jackey has been grinding all the old weld marks off the deck left over from her forty years of Greek modifications. The weekday electricians, Ken Kaskoun, Larry Williams, Bob Calender and Don Shattuck have been busy repairing battle lanterns and wiring up light fixtures in the forward main deck passageway. Ray Lammers continues his work restoring electrical fittings and lampshades. Clark Farnsworth stays busy working on his chocks on the bench in the machine shop. Down below in B-3, Bill Siebert and Bill Coyle have recruited gunners Frank Beeler and Bob Lawrence in their efforts to get the eight-cylinder generator in B-3 operational. They are in the process of converting a fuel oil tank to a water tank to use for internal cooling for the engine.

A brief note about some of the things we do to survive in the winter. We have an oil fired modern furnace installed in the muffler room. It exhausts up the stack, so on a cold day, it looks like we're getting underway. The system is a hot water system, filled with antifreeze in case of a power failure. Heating coils in the forward and aft supply fans provide heat. Both fans are turned into recirculators for the winter months with the outside openings blanked. On the coldest days, we can keep the inside at fifty-five. At night we turn it down to forty. All the ventilation openings and most of the doors are sealed for the winter. Electric space heaters supplement the main system. Normally we burn about a hundred gallons of #2 oil a week, more when the temps hover around the teens. Another precaution is the ice-eaters. We hang five electric water circulators off the pier side, spaced about sixty feet apart, about four feet below the surface. We run them when the temps get below twenty and these keep the water from freezing. The effect is to keep the pier side free from ice forming and pushing the ship away from the pier. It relieves the pressure on the hull from the ice. We button up everything below the second deck and we check the draft marks every morning and evening. So far, so good.

Steve Hurley and Al Vanderzee update the contribution data base in the ship's office. Beth and Nancy with the new major donor display board that will be displayed on the trailer in the spring.

I have to add a note about our financial situation. The winter fund drive has been a phenomenal success. Last year we raised about $12,000. This year you sent us over $30,000. This is coupled with the fact that the raffle held by the Los Angeles Chapter of DESA has netted $35,000 to benefit the SLATER. As our expenses this time of year run just about $20,000 a month, you can see we will get through the winter without having to defer bill payments or dip into our savings. I can't thank you enough for your generosity. For us, asking you for more money is the most difficult part of the job, and you responded with generosity and kind letters of support. I particularly want to thank those of you who sent five, ten and twenty dollars. I know that on fixed incomes, making such a contribution is always difficult, and nothing makes me feel guiltier than a small donation with a letter of apology for the amount. We are equally grateful to you all. I also want to thank Beth Spain for doing a great job recording and keeping track of all the donations, and Jeremy Hoyt and Nancy Buxton for getting the acknowledgements out and handling the deposits. For those of you who don't know, Beth was activated by the New York Naval Militia and spends every third day in Peekskill as captain of the security vessel off the Indian Point Nuclear Generating Plant.

Benner working on bunk lockers in forward berthing. Dennis Nagi and his new messdeck tables.

There's been a lot of discussion about the emergency diesel. The cooling radiator system, which worked fine last summer with water, just isn't working since we put antifreeze in the system. The discussion has gotten very technical, with Doug Tanner emailing Larry Lachance to say, "Larry, I ran some #'s on the secondary circulation loop. I made a # of assumptions because I didn't have the information required for the pump, impeller type, open or closed vanes, wear ring condition if the pump has them, back plate vanes or holes in impeller, elevation of exchanger from pump, etc. The nameplate on the pump said 50 GPM @ 31 ft HD. I'm not sure of the pump RPM. With 2" schedule 80 PVC pumping 50/50% Glycol, with a equivalent pipe length of 100', (which is probably about right considering all the fittings etc. in the circuit), your velocity is going to be <> 7 ft per sec., which is high and turbulent flow for suction piping (normal design is <> 2-3 Ft per sec. And laminar flow). The pressure drop in the pipe> will be <> 16.6 #'s. I calculated you have 33.9 ft of NPSH available and a pressure drop of 16.6# which equals 38 Ft. based on this the pump will cavitate, which it is doing. Moving the exchanger down into the engine room may not solve the problem. (You lose the <> 17' of elevation). It would appear that the suction line size needs to go to 3" pipe minimum. One way of overcoming the cavitation problem is restricting the discharge of the pump, as you're aware. You can do this by throttling the discharge valve or by installing an orifice. I'd recommend the orifice. One with a 1/4"-3/8" hole should give you 10-25 GPM, which would get you into the .9-1.9 ft per sec. in the suction pipe. I believe this will be enough flow to keep the pump from overheating and still provide enough cooling to the engine.

Erik Collin and Doug Tanner cleaning fuel tanks in the reefer deck. Gary Sheedy and Barry Witte in the Machine shop.

Larry responded, "I disagree with your analysis. The problem is in the outer loop, not the inner loop. When the engine was running, the water temperature in the inner loop rose steadily in a normal fashion, until it was too hot to continue the exercise - about 195F and rising visibly. The oil temperature rose normally, also, and never got much above 160F. The problem is that the heat is not transferring to the outer loop, as indicated by no temperature rise at all in the outer loop. When I opened the seawater circulating pump bleed valve, I got a rush of vapor, followed by foam, followed by liquid coolant. As soon as I got liquid at the bleed valve I closed it, and the pump began to move liquid through the loop, as indicated by a rise in the outer loop temperature of 40 or 50 F. This happened within 30 seconds or so of the bleed valve being closed. After about two minutes of operation, the outer loop temperature dropped and the inner loop temperature began to rise again. I bled the pump again and got the same result. This happened five or six times, so I shut the engine down to avoid further waste of coolant. The engine is NOT overheating. The inner coolant loop is overheating because it can't shed heat into the outer loop. This is not an oil cooler problem, it is not a heat exchanger problem, it is a seawater circulating pump problem. I discussed this with Gus Negus for almost two hours on Sunday. Ultimately, I think we are going to have to move that radiator. In the winter, having the heat in the compartment is a benefit. In the summer, we can bypass the radiator and cool with river water. There are at least two ways to do this in addition to the obvious best choice."

And Barry Witte, who can never stay out of an engineering discussion added, "Gentlemen, I applaud the manner in which we are going about resolving this issue. While the problem is easy to identify, the solution is not. I am encouraged by the effort and professionalism you collectively are investing in this. Communication is the key to solving any problem, and the recent dialog between all parties, taking care to keep all concerned informed, is great. Doug's hypothesis is possible, but before that velocity he calculated can be reached, the entire fluid column would have to move as it accelerates up to that speed. Personally, I do not think this is the cause, because the piping leading to the impeller is original piping - we have tied into it many feet away. Maybe one way to quickly confirm or disprove this is to install a sight window (or one of those flow-ball thingies) a couple of feet downstream from the EDG. This would be simpler than moving the radiator and simpler than increasing the suction piping size. As a diagnostic, it would clearly show if any flow existed at all, whether it develops and then falls off, etc..... With this additional data, we can be more certain of any corrective action taken. Keep in mind I'm just rambling, my specialty is electricity."

TV1 Benner getting ready to titivate the head. He was a lot quicker than usual this time.

As you can see, we have an incredible of knowledge and talent in the crew. Than we get to the other end of the spectrum. Volunteers who are amused by simple things. Like naval trivia. Take Tim Benner for instance. Even though he was never in the navy, he got himself in the mailing list for the USS BENNER DD807 Association newsletter. In a recent issue they published an old plan of the day from 1966. Their plan of the day called for the crew to "Titivate ship at 0830". Now, not being a sailor, Benner found this naval expression for tidying up more than amusing. In fact, it appears he has become obsessed by it. While I get memos from the engineering department discussing pump capacities and pipe diameters, I received the following email from Tim Benner.

"Effective 1 Jan 03, I have been designated as a Titivation Mate first class. This will assure that everyone involved in the titivation process will turn to and look sharp. Soon after my appointment, I or one of my titivation team will visit every space on the ship to determine if titivation is necessary. Any space in need of titivation will be designated by painting the word "Titivate" on the door in day-glo orange paint. Don't worry; Doug will burn it off, sooner or later. Those spaces not in need of titivation will be left un-marked. It should be noted that I refused the rank of Master Chief Titivation Mate. Once again I have put the ship ahead of my own personal gain. And I am far too humble to be addressed as "Master Chief" in the presence of such real sailors as Master Chief Floyd, Chief Farnsworth, Chief Marshall, Chief Erwin and Chief Dott. Just as a Bosun's Mate is addressed as "Boats", I simply expect to be addressed as...

Oh, forget it.

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